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Ask Dr. Gott 11/08

Rectal bleeding needs further study

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    DEAR DR. GOTT: My husband went to the doctor's office after experiencing a puddle of blood in his underwear. He did not get to see his regular physician but did get to see an APRN (nurse practitioner). He had a stomach X-ray and a rectal exam. The only thing she told him was that his body wasn't getting rid of all the waste. She prescribed a stool softener and a repeat visit in a couple of weeks. He never has a problem with using the restroom. When this happened, he had a normal bowel movement and then later said he had a "weird" feeling and felt pain, and after a few minutes he was OK. It is an everyday routine that he goes once in the morning and once before bedtime. What is your opinion on this matter? I myself do not believe a stool softener was the correct prescription.
    DEAR READER: I agree. As I have written on several occasions, bleeding from any bodily orifice is cause for alarm and must be diagnosed. Your husband needs a colonoscopy. At the very least, he needs to see a doctor, preferably his primary care physician, a gastroenterologist or a colorectal surgeon. Do not delay. The bleeding could come from a tumor or colon infection. Let me know the outcome.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Medical Specialists."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have a problem from which I cannot get relief even after seeing several doctors, alternative therapies, acupuncture, etc. My problem is the itch. All is well during the day. The itch begins in the evening when I relax. I have hives on my back, and itch on the palms of my hands, the bottoms of my feet and my arms. One some occasions I can get by until I go to bed. My feet get hot and itch.
    I have eliminated my medications, one by one. I am 82 years of age. This is affecting my health due to lack of sleep. I've been battling this for six months.
    DEAR READER: The sudden onset of intractable itching may reflect kidney disease. Ask your primary care physician to order appropriate blood tests of your kidney function and to prescribe medication to make you more comfortable.
    If your kidneys are functioning properly, I suggest that you see an allergy specialist. Perhaps you are reacting to something in your environment or food. Let me know how this turns out.
    To give you related information, I am sending you copies of my Health Reports "Kidney Disease" and "Allergies."
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